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Friday, August 17, 2001
APFL - the forerunner of the NFL - is born

By Larry Schwartz
Special to ESPN.com

Aug. 20, 1920

The American Professional Football Conference -- the forerunner of the National Football League -- is formed in Canton, Ohio, in the offices of Ralph Hay at the Jordan and Hupmobile auto showroom. Hay is also the business manager of the Canton Bulldogs and he is chosen secretary of the new league.

The purpose of the APFC is to keep salaries down by eliminating the bidding for star players between rival teams, to have clubs and players honor the athletes' contracts, and to secure cooperation for the formation of schedules.

Cleveland, Dayton, Akron, Canton, Buffalo, Hammond (Ind.) and Rochester (N.Y.) are the charter members, with Massillon still an uncertainty. (By the end of the season, 14 teams will have played in the new league.)

At a meeting in September, the league will change its name to the American Professional Football Association, which will become the NFL in 1922.